Monday, 1 December 2014


So as I started the last blog off by saying I hadn't blogged in a while, and that I was going to do it more frequently again, I think we can all determine that was a lie.

It has been around a month since my last confession ...

SO - What's New?

Like I'd said previously I'm going to try and bring something new to the table each time I blog about the internship. I'm sure you can all gather by the past editions that the training week doesn't really change very much - and that is still the same.
The only difference this last month training wise has been two things -
1 - The selected players have been away on International Duty (for us that was England & Fiji)
2 - We've had a whole bunch of Friday night games.

These changes things up in a couple of ways -
1 - the players being away means we have less numbers at training, and also means the starting 15 is a little different to normal so our attendees in certain sessions change.
2 - the Friday night games alter our entire week. So we have big days on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday off as normal, Thursday is run through, then Friday game. Unselected players will also train Friday morning along with the Academy players.
We have also been doing recovery sessions on two of the Sundays this month. These have been down at Locker 27 where the owner is kind enough to let us use the facility to train the players. It's nice to have a change of scenery for us and for them. Keeps things a little more interesting.

As I type this we're expecting the International players back tomorrow from duty, and I'm actually really interested to see what kind of shape they come back in. I think it will be cool to see how much different they feel after International duty compared to Domestic. Kind of compare their morning readiness scores, and see how beat up they are compared to when they normally rock up after playing in the Premiership.
I remember after a couple of the European games some of the boys seemed a little more sore, so I'm assuming it will be another step up from that.
We shall see.

On to other interesting things:
One thing I found out a few weeks ago is that the Academy players get given cooking lessons from our resident Chef. It's something that has been brought in by the Team Manager (I think, not 100% on that though) to help them develop not only as athletes but outside of sport too. Obviously it will have carry over to their performances if they are consistently eating better meals, but I think it is good that the club are helping to provide for them in terms of life-skills as well as athletically.
They so far have done evening learning about beef meals, chicken meals, and also fish meals.
Pretty good idea in my opinion.

I've also had the chance recently to work a couple of games.
The first being a home game to Sale. Unfortunately we lost (which happened to break my lucky streak of not losing any game I attended). In my opinion we should not have lost this game. We had a good team out, and looked strong in patches, but just couldn't do a lot. I also happen to think the Referee was absolutely terrible - not giving us a penalty in open play until the 78th minute tells you something! But it's easy to point the finger at the man in the middle when you lose.
I also went along to the game away to Bath. I was helping out Dennis the kit man as none of his minions were available.
This was a pretty cool experience as I got to see what goes on behind the scenes from his perspective - setting up the hotel room, setting up the changing rooms, setting up basically everything! He is one busy man and I'm not really sure the players quite understand how much he really does. He gets through a lot of work that I think people just assume happens magically. Fair play to him.
This happened to be the game that Bath's Superstar signing got his first run out - a certain Sam Burgess. The only way I can explain what it was like when he ran out is comparing it a concert. You get a bit of noise when the support acts come out to play, but then when the headline act come out everybody gets fucking insane and loses their shit screaming the place down. Yeah it was like that. The whole stadium went absolutely nuts! I think it's the only reason the game was sold-out!
To be fair to him, he is a large human! I stood next to him and felt small. Well I say that, he's not like a man-mountain or anything, I'd say we're pretty similar. He's maybe an inch taller, but the fact is that he is pretty damn lean! This makes him look huge! I mean he weighs a little more than me, but he looks so much bigger because of the fact he's a muscular monster!
I reckon he's going to have a pretty good run in Union. I think he a natural athlete, a bit like Sonny-Bill in that he will transfer his own skill set and adapt it union, rather than try to become a completely different player.
Just my opinion.

Ok - so this time I really am going to try my best to keep this updated a little bit more and give some insight.

Hope you are still enjoying reading.

If you have any feedback, please please please send me and email because I'd love to get some opinions.



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Catch up

OK! So I haven't written any updates to the internship in forever it seems!
To those of you who are regular readers - I apologise. I should have kept it up better.

My excuse is that I've been nursing an injury. On the 3rd October I dislocated my patella at rugby training, and it locked up due to a meniscus tear preventing my knee from moving like it should.
So I've now had surgery - blah blah blah. If you want details on this - go check out my other blog:

SO ... The Internship!
I have still been able to go in to help where I can. It has limited me being injured, but I can still help with the admin side of things, and to be in the weights room (not so involved as I can't really spot too good), doing protein shakes etc.

In terms of learning, the biggest thing that has been noticeable of late, mostly since the start of the regular season I guess, is the amount of changes that get made according the players. Some days they will come in feeling fresh, some days they come in beat up as hell so Gaz (head of S&C) alters either the entire group or individual players' plans according to how they feel that day. For instance if someone comes in with lower back pain and was due to do lower body weights, it will most likely change to upper body weights or just be sent down to the medical team. There is no "One Size Fits All" mentality whatsoever - which is 100% necessary in my opinion. These guys are all completely different as to what they can/can't tolerate, so it's massively important to have things tailored.

One of the more frustrating things is how sometimes things DON'T get tailored.
You're probably a bit confused considering what I've just said prior, BUT I'm now talking about rugby training. We feed back information to the medical team, and certain players who get "Red Flagged" if they're monitoring comes back that they're fucked also get mentioned the skills coaches, but a lot of the time it doesn't seem to have a lot of difference. It will just be "Well stop him once he reaches about 1.5-2k of running". And I suppose in some ways that's a good thing as they always want the players to be involved - BUT sometimes you just wish they could say "yeah ok let him rest".
I know I'm not the only one who thinks this, but unfortunately in this kind of environment I think it's the only real way of dealing with it as there is so much pressure to perform (plus the fact we have a small squad).

Another thing I've found interesting is how the squad react to wins or losses. As a squad we've had both, and the players react very differently. Sometimes after a loss they've come in and you can tell they've lost. Whereas other times they come in and it's like "well it's happened now - let's just move on" and they almost forget it ever happened.
Honestly - I don't know which is best. I mean everyone knows you learn a ton of information from losing, and as long as you learn from it I guess it doesn't matter whether you just move on from it, or whether you dwell on it. Every time I try to decide which one I prefer I counter argue myself. So I'll just say "Whatever works for you".

Performance wise - we're starting to look a bit more like the Quins of old. In our win at the weekend against Wasps in the new European Champions Cup or whatever the hell its called now we looked good in large amounts. We scored tries, and creating chances, through our open and expansive style. We also had a really good defensive performance, with a hard line press and tenacity at the breakdown. It was very good to see.

We're 2 from 2 in Europe, and we're 3/6 in the premiership. It could be worse. The squad is coming together nicely.

Other stuff from the internship - right now I'm starting to think a lot about what I want to afterwards. And it's probably mostly due to the fact that I'm injured and sat around doing fuck all after surgery, but I'm trying to come up with some options or ideas as to how I'm going to progress after Quins to continue my journey. Obviously the best outcome would be to get into a job in Rugby Union in the UK getting paid. That would be ideal. If not - getting paid overseas. Or getting paid in general.
But I also have a lot of options in terms of branching out and getting some more voluntary stuff under my belt to build a CV and help push myself forward in terms of knowledge etc so that people will want to employ me.
Those reading this - hit me up if you have any options or ideas!!! (

Right I think I'm done here.
I'm going to try keep these plenty regular again from now on, and I'll try to keep stuff varied.

Til then

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Week 11, 12 & 13

Internship Life.
Week 11, 12 & 13.
01/09/14 - 20/09/14

We are now 3 weeks in to the season.
3 games.
2 wins.
1 loss.

Not a bad start, but very far from perfect.

If you follow rugby, and in particular if you follow Quins, you will know what I mean when I say far from perfect. The first game against London Irish at Twickenham on the 6th September as part of the London Double Header was a pretty cool occasion. I wasn't working the game, Richie had the pleasure of running out at Twickenham this time. Lucky bastard. But I did go to watch.
The first game was a lot more interesting than I anticipated as Wasps gave Saracens a very close game and only lost out in the closing minutes.
Then our game - in the first half we looked very dominant and put some decent structure in place and looked confident. Then in the second half we collapsed. Penalties all went against us, we had players sin-binned etc. But we still came out winners.
Training this week was very interesting for me as you could tell that all the players were so keen and eager to get into game day. There was another huge buzz around training, everyone seemed very happy and also very focused. It was a really great atmosphere to work in, and you could see people talking little bits and bobs about structure and tactics when wandering around whereas before that was only in meetings and training. Everything became about this one game.
In terms of our training week, it didn't change a huge amount from how we had prepared for Pre-Season fixtures. Monday and Tuesday were the main grunt days, with therapy, skills, speed, weights and rugby. Then the players get Wednesdays off. Thursday is a fairly regular day, therapy, weights, rugby. Friday changes though as instead of being a full training day it was now a run-through day. This meant the players involved in the game would be at The Stoop doing some basic plays and running through their general patterns for the game the next day. Players not involved had some S&C stuff at SSP but pretty much just a regular weights session and optional conditioning.
So yeah as I said, nothing too different except the structure of the week and the layout workload wise.

Week 2 - Saracens at home.
Not really a lot to say about this. We lost and lost big. And worst of all, we scored a big fat ZERO points. Not good at all. I again wasn't working this game, Henry had it, and I imagine the atmosphere was pretty strange among the bench and staff etc.
This presented something pretty interesting to me in that I wondered how the players and staff would react and adjust things at training. I remember from playing that when we used to lose, and even more so when we lost big, we would get a right flogging and all the coaches would spend all the training that week trying to get us up for the following game to put things right.
But this is a much different atmosphere to anything I've done before, and you can tell. On Monday the whole thing was basically already buried and put in the past. A one-off. The one of which we do not speak.
The week was slightly different this week. First off the dreaded HotPod Yoga showed up again on the schedule on Monday. Forgot how much of a pain in the arse this thing is. But it's only once a week so not the end of the World. The next big difference was the week structure as it was a Friday night game. So the players still did their main work on Monday & Tuesday, Wednesday was off, Thursday was the run through, and the only players around on the Friday were those players not involved in the game - again just for some weights and conditioning. These days are quite good for us interns as 1-it gives us an extra day to earn money if we have work & 2-if we go in it gives us the opportunity to work quite closely with players as there aren't too many in on these days so it's close to one-to-one work.
Another new thing this week was the "A-League" game on Monday night. We had a fixture against Wasps "A" at The Stoop. I was the intern working this game, and I really enjoyed it. There wasn't much of a crowd but it was a good experience for me as I got to have a mic and ear-piece whilst running water, getting given messages from the coaches to feedback to the players when I ran on. Gives you an insight into how things run on a regular game-day as it's very similar - just up a notch or two. The "A-League" is designed for Premiership sides to blood young players and give them a bit of exposure. It allows these players the chance to show the things they've learnt in training without all the pressure of the Premiership. Plus - it is used a little bit of a stepping stone to see who has what it takes at that level as you get a lot of returning players from injury so it's not all up and comers but some pretty big names play in these games when coming back.
We won the game and put in a fairly decent performance which pleased the coaches as the players responded very well to all the messages being fed to them .

Week 3 - Wasps.
The week leading up to this was very much the same as the others. Nothing overly new came into place, the only difference now is that a lot more tailoring happens in the gym sessions as players come back in different condition - some really beat up, some pretty fresh. So it's about adjusting work-load to best fit their condition on the day.
The Wasps game itself was really good. I got myself some tickets from the club and went along to watch, I ended up sitting with all the lads not involved in the game (the injured or unused). That was pretty cool as otherwise I was going to be sat on my tod. Plus it let me see what the players are like when they're not playing, and how they treat the games as a spectator.
We won the game, but it ended up being closer than it maybe should have been. We had an ok first half performance, then when we came out for the second half we had a really positive 20 minutes or so. The performance looked very much like the Quins we want to see, very free-flowing and attractive rugby, but with big defensive performances.
The final 20 minutes or so we started to drift off a little and Wasps came back into the game to eventually be 2 points behind at the final whistle. It was always going to be a close game as it always is between these two teams, but it was very good to see the lads respond so well to the loss the week before, and to see them finally play the way they want to again. That hadn't been seen since the first half against London Irish in week 1.

So hopefully this week the mood will be pretty good, and then we have a big challenge next week going to Exeter on Sunday. Exeter have looked very strong so far - they thrashed London Welsh in week 1, lost narrowly to Leicester in week 2, and they beat Gloucester on Friday night. So this could be a great game to watch. Unfortunately as it's an away game none of the interns get to go and help, but the following week against London Welsh I get to have my first Prem Game. Should be fun.

So there you have it folks, a little look into how things change when the competitive season starts. The biggest thing I would say is the adjustments that get made to allow for players' recovery and progression.

Hope you all still enjoy reading, any feedback is always welcome as I know it can get a little samey but I will try to keep it as fresh as possible and show you all what goes on.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Week 9 & 10.

Internship Life.
Week 9 & 10.
18.8.14 - 29.8.14


That's right folks. Pre-season is now officially over. I am writing this a couple of days into week 11, which is now technically the "In-Season". May sound lame and quite sad, but I'm excited! Pre-season has been an absolutely fantastic experience, and I have learnt huge amounts during it, but I am looking forward to seeing what changes now we're in season. Two days in and already I can tell you that the intensity is at a whole new level in training - you can tell the guys are all itching to get out there at HQ on Saturday and play London Irish. And I cannot wait to watch it!

Ok that's enough about that. I'll get back to the main idea for this blog shall I?

So things have followed very much in the same pattern as usual, just with rugby becoming more intense, the meeting becoming longer, and the players all being very psyched.
One other thing that has been noticeable is that there is a lot more media attention now that we're closer to the season. There have been Sky Sports cameras around, BT Sport, and also Total Rugby were in all day during week 10 at some point. That was quite amusing to be fair as you see the lads in a different light as some of them act up in front of the cameras, whereas others try to act the consummate professional, and others don't seem to change whatsoever. I got a very brief bit of lime-light on the Sky Sports news bit.
In other news - the team won their final pre-season game. This was great news as it would've been a very tense atmosphere if they hadn't won a game before we start competitively.
Looking at training, and how things have changed in the last few weeks, I genuinely think that we could have a very successful year. The entire team look fantastic, and the way they are playing is great to watch - as is always the way with Quins.

One new thing that has come into play is more pool-work. This is done to allow the players some recovery after games, and it has been being used with players who are carrying a few knocks.
Now - I got a bit of stick from one of the senior players for this as I actually forgot to turn up to one of the sessions! I got told about it early doors in the meeting by my boss and agreed to do it, then I just completely forgot all about it! Which meant the players involved had to lead their own session.
My own fault and no one else to blame so I just have to deal with the stick and banter that comes with it I guess.

Apart from that - not a lot has really changed.
All I'll say is this - things are heating up! And things are changing now we're going into the season.
So watch this space for updates, and keep reading what goes on behind the doors at one of the best clubs in Britain, and what an S&C Internship entails.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 18 August 2014

Week 7 & 8

Internship Life.
Week 7 & 8.
4.08.14 - 16.08.14

Ok, so after week 7 I decided to leave it a little longer before I blogged. The reason being that week 7 was pretty quiet. The main squad were away on training camp, living it up in France - the photos of the location look pretty incredible, whilst a few of us were still back in the UK at SSP training etc.
So the week mostly consisted of working with the grounded injured players, and also the Academy lads. The EPDG were also in throughout the week but I stuck with the other groups as I have more interaction with them throughout the rest of the year so figured it was the best use of my time.
So on the Monday of week 7 the squad had an event on at a local Hotel to go over team values for the year. Us interns didn't get to go, so to make the best use of our time Dick Steele, Henry a.k.a. Harry and I decided to have a go at fixing the broken ice bath (we made it a little better ... but still not fixed), deep clean the baths, and also deep clean the Hot Yoga pod. We also did a few other small bits and bobs but nothing major, just a few things to make our lives easier whilst we had the time.
Throughout the rest of the week the majority of our time was split between the Academy players and the injured players. It was very interesting to get some more focused time with both of these groups as you get some good insight into their mindset etc. For the injured players who stayed, they had both been injured for quite long periods, but they were very upbeat still and seemed to be happy enough to come in and graft away to make sure that when they make their respected comebacks they will be in the best shape they've ever been.
The Academy players are also very interesting as they are new to the scene having come through the EPDG, and they are all totally different when the senior players aren't around. They all seem to come out of their shell and be themselves a bit more, so you get to know them a little better once they've relaxed. This week also gave them a lot more time to work one-on-one with coaching staff so it was an opportunity to fine-tune their gym work and make sure they are doing things technically correct. This is very important at this level as it can help to improve the longevity of their careers.

Week 8.
The main squad returned to training on Tuesday, after spending Monday travelling back from training camp.
Tuesday and Wednesday followed much in the same pattern as before - consisting of Therapy, Strength & Speed, and rugby sessions also. The rugby sessions are very team based looking at patterns and set-piece a lot.
One thing that was interesting over these two days is how they treat injured players recovering from minor or major injuries after games. So for instance we had a couple of players who wouldn't be involved the following weekend at home against Pau, and some who would be. It may not sound very interesting to others, but for more it was good to see how and when they re-introduce them to all the different aspects of the week - weights, speed, rugby etc.
One thing that was pretty brutal this week was seeing one of the players go down with an injury in training. This player, who happens to be an avid reader of this blog and often gives me pointers which I very much appreciate, has been coming back from a previous injury, and has already recovered a couple of times over the course of the pre-season. He was looking very sharp - fast, strong and in good condition, and then all of a sudden ... Ping. Not good. You could see from his reaction, and the reactions of the players how much it means to have such a valued member of the squad go down.
When I went back into the sheds after training to sort a couple of bits, he was around and getting offered condolences by many players and coaching staff, and seeing him a bit shaken up was tough. I can't even begin to imagine how tough this is. I mean I've had injuries before, and I've had times where I've come back from one small niggle, to pick up another, and then another. Sometimes it just feels like everything is against you, and it's hard to break that mental attitude.
BUT - I have full faith that he will come back better than ever. And best of luck to you for your recovery from Dick, Henry and I - I know you're reading.
Thursday was a little different - we went down to Locker 27 in Weybridge for a weights and conditioning session. I think this was great for the players as it was a change of scenery, something fresh and offered different training to what they've been exposed to at SSP.
After the session at Locker, we went on to The Stoop for a rugby session. This session was open to the fans, and there were a fair number of people there to watch, mostly kids, but it's nice to see a decent turnout. The weather was very odd this day, it was glorious sunshine when we turned up, and then towards the end of training it decided to come down with torrential rain! Classic English weather! The players did their training, and then followed it up with some signings and photos etc with the fans.
Friday was a nice easy day for me. I was at The Stoop for the Captain's Run, and also got involved a little bit in the skills session for the players not involved in the Match 23. Got hit about on the pads a little but it was good to be involved. Henry was at SSP that day, working with Slim and the Academy, and then also with the 7s team in preparation for the World Club 7s at Twickenham over the weekend. Dick meanwhile was living it up in Budapest on a stag do ... likes taking time off that boy.

Saturday was a brand new experience for me - a home match day! The guys had a home game against Pau as part of their pre-season preparation, and I got to be involved as an intern. It's not as hands on as the 7s I did two weeks prior, as the coaches run on water as they can communicate any messages they need to get across. But my role was to help prepare any pre-game needs such as supplements, be available for warm ups and stretching, and then to prepare all the post-game supplements as well. Not very glamorous, but interesting to see the way players prepare at this level.
I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it seems very normal to them. I know that probably sounds very obvious, but it didn't really seem to phase anyone - it's just rugby. If that makes sense? I know from playing at a lower level you get guys who need different preparations - some are quiet and in their own little solace, some are laughing and joking, some are intense and focused, and some are just getting aggressive in their own ways.
The squad definitely seem very together for their goal this year - and that is great to see. The things that were talked about pre and post game seemed to be understood by everyone, and it seems everyone really wants to buy into what is happening.
The game itself wasn't anything special. Finishing 17-17. But it was a building block, and I think the true test of where we are ahead of competitive fixtures will be this weekend. We have an away fixture to finish off our pre-season fixture list.
I'm definitely feeling positive, and I think the players are too. Looks like it's going to be a good year and I can't wait to get involved.

Til' Next Time.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Week 6

Internship Life.
Week 6.
28.7.14 - 01.08.14

It's that time again - time for a catch up!
Last week followed very much in the footsteps of the week before in that it was very busy from start to finish of every single day. It followed a similar pattern as normal with Therapy, weights, conditioning, speed and rugby training.
Again, there were several different schedules going on, but this week it made a little more sense - for example the England Returnees would be running whilst the main group did rugby, and they'd all do weights at the same time just different sessions.
The biggest difference this week was the double days of rugby. Rugby is now in full swing and the guys are training most days, and it's normally twice a day. So by Friday a lot of the guys looked pretty knackered but its coming up to the first pre-season fixture now so it's important they get the work in as Quins play a good brand of rugby so plenty of training time is necessary.

Another interesting part of the week - especially for me - was the 7s. Quins sent a side up to Franklins Gardens in Northampton on Friday night for the Premiership 7s Series, and I was lucky enough to get to go along as an intern and provide assistance for the evening.
My role for the evening was basically to help out wherever I could, so I helped load the bus, unload the bus, prepare the water, prepare gatorade, make up protein shakes, make up any pre-game supplements the players wanted, help with the GPS units, help with warm up and stretching, and then my main role was running the water on during the games themselves. As it was being shown live on BT Sport this was pretty sweet.
Quins came away victorious, winning all 3 games. The guys put in a lot of hard work, and they were all pretty dead by the end of the 3rd game, but it was worth it I think as they now progress on to the next round. Joe Marchant, one of the ACAD lads who is on loan to Worthing Raiders this year (my hometown club) had an absolutely brilliant evening and came away with a bottle of bubbly as player of the tournament. But in all honesty - the entire squad played well.

This next week is another quieter one - the main squad are off on pre-season camp ending with their first pre-season fixture, so I will be in and around SSP helping out with the ACAD and the injured players who are staying home to continue their rehab/preparations.

Hopefully next week I should be able to go a little more in-depth on what we do with injured players or ACAD, just to mix things up a bit.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Week 5.

Internship Life.
Week 5.
21.7.14 - 25.7.14.

This week was absolutely mental! I needed to get that out there and off my chest to start. There have been several different schedules being worked through all at the same time, so mentally and physically this week has been very draining and challenging, but brilliant at the same time.
There was the schedule for the players who had been back for the duration, a slightly different schedule for the Academy players (just to stop over-crowding of training areas - mostly in slots such as weights/therapy), a separate schedule for the EPDG, and then we also had the returning players this week as well - those players who had been in New Zealand with England Senior team, and also 2 players back from England Under 20 World Cup success.
With the returning players, they were put on a schedule similar to the main group, but they had slightly different training outcomes as they were coming off a 4-week break, so they were doing different weights sessions, conditioning sessions etc.

So this made for a very interesting week. Everyday we would have our morning meeting, then within a few hours something would have changed and the whole plan would change. It's now very clear why S&C teams are so large in Elite level sport because without the amount of coaches in our team we would have been very stretched for some sessions.

It's also been a very interesting week in the sense that it's good to see the difference between those regular squad players, and those who are involved with England. Also, even between those involved with England themselves. For instance, the England players went through a very similar week to the original returnees 4 weeks ago. So it's been awesome to gauge the difference in caliber by seeing them do the exact same sessions and see how they react to it and how they continue throughout the week.
So on the Monday, the returnees had a conditioning session which I got to be involved with which was awesome! And it's pretty impressive to see how these guys can be clearly in pain by working so hard, but not even slowing down, no complaining or anything. That seems the difference, they just do every little thing to the best of their ability.
On Friday they finished the week with the Prowler challenge that the other group have now done twice, and again - some of them just seem a cut above. Even within the England group you could see a difference between the more seasoned internationals and those who were new to the EPS. Two players who play similar positions both took part in this, and as part of the same team. One has a fairly good amount of international experience, the other not a lot, and the difference between the two on this challenge showed a lot and I think it's a credit to the England coaching structure at the moment to the culture that they are creating.

There was also an "Adidas Launch" this week. This was basically a big Media event with the players and coaches, along with Adidas, to launch the new partnership between Quins and Adidas. I didn't get to sit in on the event itself, I was busy inputting data - much more interesting ... but there was also a BBQ afterwards which was good. I took plenty of food home with me which is always a bonus. They had on show all the new Adidas boots for the season, and I believe the new jersey got unveiled (but I'm not 100% on this one).

I got my hands on a pair of Adidas Predators from the club as part of my kit allowance. They're very nice, and happen to be my first pair of Predators so I'm pretty chuffed. I tried them on, and having fat feet I often struggle with Adidas, and these seem no different. They're definitely going to take a lot of stretching out before they become anything close to comfortable. But when they do, I'll be showing them off as much as possible as they're damn flashy as far as boots go.
Luckily I got given the mostly black and white pair, which I'm very happy about as I'm quite old fashioned with regards rugby boots and have only ever owned black boots - so this trend continues.

On Wednesday the players took part in a Swimming Challenge that my boss called "The Great London Swim". It sounded really good, and the 2 or so minutes of it I got to watch looked cool, but I didn't get to see it all. In all honesty I was pretty annoyed about that as I was really interested in watching it. But not the end of the World eh, you win some and lose some.

What else what happened this week ... Oh yeah! Rugby started!
Now that sentence may not seem genuine, but I almost actually forgot to mention that rugby training was back in the schedule as of Thursday this week. You can tell it's been a long week now right?

The atmosphere of the squad was totally different on Thursday morning, it was similar to how it was over those first few days back in week 1. The players all seemed excited to be back into rugby training, which is great to see. I've always wondered how players would respond to it as it is their paid job, but they all genuinely live to play rugby.
The training itself was mostly covering shapes and patterns that they are looking to bring in this year - obviously I can't into detail on any of this - but what really impressed me is just the attention to detail and the sheer quality of all the players. At one point I kept my eyes on one of the most high profile Quins players, one who has fewer international caps than he deserves because of a certain superstar in his Homeland, and his skill level for the first session back is just incredible. I know these guys are top level for a reason, but I was expecting things to be a little rusty, but these guys simply just flick a switch and it's rugby time. It's incredibly impressive.
I'm genuinely looking forward to watching more of these sessions and seeing the whole team come together and have a successful season.
My role in these sessions is mostly to hand out and collect GPS units and HR, and then also to play the role of Bobby Boucher A.K.A The Waterboy!!! The interns are in charge of supplying water during any breaks in training - which this week when it's been absolutely scorching - has been very frequent. Gives me a chance to have a listen in on the conversations going on in the huddles and hearing the opinions of the coaches and players.

So that sums up this week, and I'm going to finish off by saying this ...

It's going to be a damn good season!

'Til Next Week Folks

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Week 4 - 14.7.14-18.7.14

Internship Life.
Week 4. 14.7.14 - 18.7.14

The main squad had a week of this week, which meant that it was a lot quieter from my point of view. I must admit it has been a relief to have a bit of an off-week as it is definitely tiring. I love it to pieces, every day, but it is definitely draining. So to get a week where the pressure was off a little bit, and it was a lot more relaxed, came as a bonus.

As the main squad were off, the week was used mostly for work with the Elite Player Development Group (EPDG). This had all been planned by Tim a.k.a. Slim as he is head of S&C for these groups. So it was treated as a sort of mini-camp for these players.
The ages ranged from high school kids of maybe 14-16, to Sixth Form and College kids of maybe 17.
I'm not entirely sure of the ages to be fair so I'm just guesstimating.
They were split into two different groups - the Senior EPDG (older group), and Junior EPDG (younger). The senior group often new what is was they were being asked to do as they had been involved before, whereas the juniors were very green and needed a lot more technical work.

Throughout the week they had several sessions including sprint work, jumps, throws, weights, therapy (this was new to a lot of them so a good chance to give them advice on how to look after niggly injuries), swimming as well as quite a lot of rugby work with the coaches.

It was quite interesting from my point of view to be involved this week as it was good to see how Slim does things differently with EPDG as opposed to how he works with Senior squad, and also the Academy boys.

It was also a chance to work more one-to-one with some of the Senior squad lads, those who were still recovering from injury. So for instance this week I worked with George Robson, Rob Buchanon & George Merrick. We also had Ugo, Danny Care, Tom Casson, Kyle Sinkler & Tom Williams around this week. It was good because it was such a nice relaxed atmosphere and the guys all seemed to be enjoying their training which is good to see.

So next week is going to be a big week - we get all the returning England Players back into the fray. So it's going to packed full of all the players, I'm imagining it will be pretty tiring and hectic but I can't wait. Should be good having the entire squad back together.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Week 3. 7.7.14 - 11.7.13

Final week of the first phase of pre-season is now done. The majority of the players have now got a week off scheduled training, only those in rehab and the EPDG guys are involved in organised activity throughout the next week.

Monday we had a squad trip to the GSK Human Performance Lab in Brentford. As Harlequins are now sponsored by Maxi Nutrition, who are owned by GSK, we were able to use their fantastic facilities to do some physical testing.
This place was one of the most hi-tech labs I've seen personally, and it had a lot of different equipment available to use to find out the capabilities of the players.
The players underwent a BodPod which analyses body fat etc, Cognitive Assessment, depth perception, isometric strength testing for several body parts, dynamic strength testing, and lactate testing.
I was involved in the lactate testing. I was working in a tandem with Gaz helping him set up the Lactate Pro in between each use, timing the work periods etc. It was really interesting for me as I haven't done any of this type of stuff since University, so it was a nice refresher and a way for me to re-cap things I hadn't used in a long time.
It was a long old day on Monday, I think from start to finish I was out of the house for 12 hours. But it was definitely worth it as I got to experience this awesome lab. Oh I also got shown in an official Harlequins tweet photo haha. Trouble is I was eating when they took it, but hey ho. Good publicity right?

Tuesday we were back to normal at SSP. But the day started off a little different with a swimming session. This was the first one of this pre-season, and it was interesting to see who was good at swimming and who wasn't. It was mostly just a way to help loosen off their bodies whilst getting a bit of a workout in.
It's good to change up the stimulus, especially for professional sports people as the same training day in and day out can get very monotonous. Cliff and Bots smashed the underwater swim challenge to finish, doing a length underwater, turning still submerged, then returning half way back for Cliff and about three quarters for Bots. Pretty impressive.
The rest of the day was fairly standard with some weights and yoga to finish the day.

The rest of the week again continued fairly standard with a mix of therapy, weights, running, off feet conditioning, speed, skills and yoga.
On Thursday, Dunny (David Dunne - @Dunne_Nutrition) did a presentation on Nutrition for the players. This covered simple things like the amount of calories they should be taking in, and through what Macro-nutrient sources. I think this was important for the players as they each have their own ideals that they are looking to hit and it's good to individualize things.

On Friday they finished the week with another conditioning challenge. It was that damn prowler again! This thing is beginning to break people, and not just me! This week the coaches changed it, they worked in teams of 3 rather than teams of 4. And they also got more specific with the amount of weight being used on the prowler for players of different weights. I.e. the big guys like Lambo and Fridge had heavier than the small guys like Linds.
The groups being down to 3 made it more interesting as the players had less rest between reps, and some of them struggled a lot on the final few reps. But it was good to see the whole squad getting behind each other and pushing each other through a tough session.
I got a bit more air-time from this as I walked alongside Chuckles during his final push as he was struggling and Linds and Colls caught it on video and chucked it on Instagram. So I can be seen strutting next to a struggling Giraffe on ice.

If you want to see some photos of the trip to GSK-HPL then check out my Instagram.
It also has some photos from the prowler session.
And most importantly - Stay up to date with "#DickWatch" on instagram and twitter. Basically one of the other interns is called Richie Steele - so he is now Dick Steele. Obviously. So I decided to sneakily take some snaps of him unknowingly, and chuck them online. So I want to get #DickWatch trending.
Instagram: @baby_rhino
Twitter: @nitman89

Next week I'm going to be in and out of SSP a little, as there is no major training for the squad, but the other interns and I will be going in to assist Bish with rehab players, and also help Slim and Ed with their EPDG Mini-Camp. Should be a good chance to coach some younger players and see what Slim is looking for from them physically. All part of the learning experience.

Thank you for reading.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Week 2

Internship Life
Week 2 - 30.06.14 - 04.07.14

This week has been fantastic - again. Everything has started to settle down with the squad guys who were around for the first week, and we also had a few more players around - those who were involved with the England side that played against the Barbarians came back from their break. So a few more numbers were strolling around the training park (and eating all the food).

I've decided now not to break it down day by day like I did last week, as essentially it's a very similar layout day to day apart from that we generally do a higher output day followed by lower output.

The biggest differences this week - the weights have mixed up a little bit. We've had more of an upper/lower structure making use of the big exercises such as power cleans, squats, bench press etc. The guys also seem very settled into their routine which is always nice.
Also for the players who it was their second week they had a higher amount of total mileage from their running sessions, and increased work rate on their off feet conditioning using watt bikes, rowers and cross trainers.

We did a speed session on Wednesday using the speed gates, and also had one of the SSP Staff use his high-motion camera to analyse the players running styles. We found out some cool info from that on Friday when he said that Tom Williams' 3rd step foot contact time was quicker than any of his sub 10.2second sprinters from the GB Sprint team! That's damn impressive!

I think one of the biggest bonuses for me this week has been that I have been given my own groups in the weights sessions. I have been in control of guys like Paul Doran-Jones, Charlie Matthews, Sam Twomey, Karl Dickson, Ugo Money, Jordan Turner-Hall and many others too. It's pretty cool to be given this opportunity, especially so early. Shows that the coaches have faith in us as interns to do things right, and it's good to get to know the guys and build a rapport.
I've also been able to do more one-on-one sessions in terms of conditioning, similarly to last week, which is again pretty cool. Gives you a chance to get to know the guys.

On that note - it's been pretty cool that some of the players are really trying to spend the time to get to know us as interns, as well as us getting to know them. Considering we're around them a lot of the time and for the whole year, I think they're just trying to get know us so we have things to talk about, and things they can pick apart to give us banter for.
The banter towards me has started now that they've decided I look like John C. Reilly from Step Brothers. Except the curly mop I can actually see their point - unfortunately.

Picked up a couple more pieces of stash this week - a new zip up hoodie, a baseball cap, and a beanie. I think my boots may be coming soon as some of the players started receiving their new Adidas boots on Friday so looking forward to getting my hands on them.

I was hoping to get a chance to take part in Hot Yoga this week, but we only did it once and we all had a lot of other bits to get done so I didn't get to. Hopefully next week.

I said in my last blogs that it is hard work, and pretty intense, and it is starting to show now as on Wednesday of week 1 I weighed in at 117.8kg, and Friday of week 2 I was 116.0. And my strength is still ok so I'm hoping that it is fat slowly disappearing. I would be very happy of this was the case because if you know me - you know I could do with dropping a few. If my strength continues to rise, and bodyweight drops, then I will be chuffed. I think it's a mixture of the hard graft, and also the food we eat. I get to eat the meals the players get, and it is fantastic food - all healthy choices and tasty. The kitchen at SSP do a great job taking care of these guys.

Ok so I think that pretty much sums up this week. It's taken another notch up in intensity, another batch of players in, and I am still just loving life. Everyday I get home knackered but with a smile on my face. It's incredibly cheesy but honestly - I don't care! I worked hard to get here, and it's been a long time coming so I'm going to gloat and be proud of myself!

Hope you are all enjoying these updates. I will try to keep them specific, and give as much detail as I can without giving stuff away, but I want to keep it interesting too (hence not detailing each day by day anymore).

Til next time - Enjoy!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Week 1

I already posted a blog detailing the first two days of the internship/first two days of pre-season so I will jump ahead and fill in the remainder of the week.


Most of the days start pretty much the same way with a Therapy session. In these the players work with coaches and physio's to help improve any weaknesses they may have, or to help eradicate any tight/sore spots. They use a mix of resistance bands, and different SMR tools like lacrosse balls and foam rollers. The coaches sometimes use trigger point therapy also on particular players to work on areas that need a bit more work.
An indoor rugby skills sessions followed this which involved a lot of simple movement and handling drills using footballs and rugby balls.
Breakfast followed this session and there was a brilliant selection of food. I had two beef steaks, an omelette and some chicken salad. Hardly a bad way to start the day.
Things then started to get a little hectic as the players had 3 sessions back to back. First up was Speed out on the sprint track. Only short distance as they're working mostly on acceleration rather than top velocity or speed maintenance at the moment.
This was followed by weights which again was full body. A mixture of movement to target general weak areas and positive movement patters.
Finally there was some off-feet conditioning to finish off. This consisted of a cross-trainer session put together by the S&C team. It was interval based and definitely worked the players hard.
The day was finished off by another meal and individual recovery methods.


Prior to Therapy, there was an S&C Presentation to start off the day today. This was mostly covering the wellness and RPE based things that the players are being asked to carry out to help monitor total work output.
Therapy followed this. I won't keep on about therapy - it's pretty much the same every time apart from players picking up tighter areas as a result of training the day before.
Food followed this.
Next up was a running session - this was similar to Tuesday's session in that it was Tempo based but there was a slight increase in total distances covered for the majority of players.
During the running session - I got the chance to do a one-on-one off feet conditioning session with Harlequins legend, and England and British & Irish Lions winger, Ugo Monye. This was pretty awesome to be fair. I know it's just part of the job, but it was my first real "starstruck" kind of moment in that I was personally working with such a big name. I love this internship!!!! So Ugo did an off-feet conditioning session which was interval based. It looked like hard work because he looked as if he'd been in the shower by the time he finished. Fair to say these guys put the work in.
After running they had skills again, today outside. Again just things to gradually increase the amount of rugby they do.
Yoga followed this. Today group 1 did Power Yoga, and group 2 did Hot Yoga. I definitely want to give Hot Yoga a go next week as the boys seem to really enjoy it. It's similar to Bikram but in 40 degree heat. Looks intense but I want to give it a go.
More food to finish off the day and the off to bed.

FRIDAY 27/06

Therapy - enough said.
Indoor skills. The coaches have been mixing these sessions up to keep the players' minds fresh. Today they basically played big games of basketball which was cool. They players enjoy it as just doing rugby all the time get tedious for them so it keeps them interested whilst working on handling and co-ordination skills.
Speed followed up at 10:00. Today this was done outside on the pitch so times were slightly slower but some of the guys still hit some impressive times. Particularly Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Charlie Walker. Very quick. Jack Clifford also hit a good time for a back row.
Weights was up next. Again this was a total body session and was high tempo with low rest so the guys got a good sweat on.
To finish off the day today the players had a conditioning challenge.
Hopefully you read my blog "First Day - 20.06.2014" where I explained about the prowler session I took part in with the S&C Team - well the players did this today. But as some people have picked up niggles the groups were down on numbers so they required members of staff to join in. I got roped into doing it by Gaz (who was also doing it along with Batch, Slim and Roberts - one of the physio's). I was not particularly happy but Henry can't do it because he has a bad shoulder, and Richie has buggered off to Glastonbury (in his first week at the internship he did two days - he's got a lot of making up to do!).
Now I have had a lot of respect for professional sportsmen in the past, but my God I am now really able to comprehend how physically fit these players really are.
It was an 80kg sled (60 for those under 90kg bodyweight) and again it was 8 lengths per player in 4 man teams. There was the option to use a "joker card" for someone to replace someone for one rep (for instance of someone was dying then someone fresher could do a rep for them).
I was in a team with Jack Clifford (back row, captained England U20s to World Cup Victory last year), Paul Doran-Jones (prop, multiple caps for England) and Stan South (second row, Academy boy).
I genuinely almost died. I finished my 7th rep and my legs wobbled under me and I just collapsed. It was embarrassing and I feel a bit shit that I died in front of the squad. Stan South pulled the Hero card and used a joker to take my final rep and smashed it! The team finished with the best time of the day at 9 minutes 11 seconds.
It took me a long old time to recover from that. I felt like dog shit for a long time.
So like I said, I now understand just how incredibly well conditioned these guys are. They found something easy that literally almost killed me. Time for me to practice what I preach. This prowler is going to become my friend and enemy over the next few months as I'm going to use it to do my conditioning after weights.

So there you go, week 1 complete.
Next week we get a few more players back (those involved with England Saxons at the end of the season) and the week looks pretty similar to what was carried out this week.
I will most likely cut down the blogs to weekly as otherwise it will be a whole load of repetition.

Hope you enjoy reading the blogs, I just want to show a bit of insight into how things run as part of an S&C Team.

Til next time.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

First two days

First two days catch up

So pre-season is intense! My feet are wrecked, and I'm totally knackered, but it's 100% worth it so far.

Monday we started off the day with an S&C team meeting, and a meeting with the physio team. This consisted of just getting our bearings with the protocols to follow, which players are in each group, and how many of the guys are still recovering from existing injuries etc.
Another meeting followed but this was with the squad and coaching staff. Those players who were already back to begin training watched a slideshow explain the layout of pre-season, and told about a few new things that are being put into place for this pre-season/season.
After this, we had to unload a huge delivery of supplements. The new supplier is Maximuscle/MaxiRaw, and we had 3 pallets worth of Whey, Casein, Creatine, Beta-alanine and tons of protein bars and flapjacks too.

Next up - Shake duty! At the moment the 3 interns are in charge of making the post-workout smoothies, next week it will be taken off our hands as there will be a "nutrition volunteer" to do that side of things. And thank God! The smoothies are an absolute ball-ache. If it were only shakes, it would be fine. Water/milk, couple of scoops of this and that, then shake. But with the smoothies its water/milk, scoops of supps, smoothie packs and other stuff. It just takes time because we have to blend them up in batches of only 2-4 players at a time. Sucks.
The shakes were needed for post-weights. We got to sit in on these weights sessions which was good as the players are on a fairly generic program at the moment whilst the coaches figure out any existing issues with imbalances etc. It was a total body workout consisting of a lot of super-sets with very little rest. A couple of lads vomited after this session - which goes to show that it was intense for weights.
After each group did weights they also had a conditioning challenge using the rowing machines and Watt bikes. This was good to gauge where the players are at and to see how they push themselves at everything they do.

This was the final session of the day, but as a group we all went up and did our individual workouts to finish off the day. After training for so long at the Hill Performance Center in Worcester, and mostly by myself, it's weird to be back in a very commercial gym. I had to wait for platform to squat!!! WHAT?!?!


Another busy day. We started off a little later with a meeting at 830, so Richie and I decided to get an early morning workout in (details in training blog to come later).
After our meeting, the first session of the day was Therapy. In this the boys do a lot of mobility/flexibility work focused around any weakness or work-ons found in the screening on day 1. It includes a lot of rolling with foam rollers and lacrosse balls, and use of bands for distraction.
The next session was running. This counted as a conditioning sessions for the players and consisted mostly of tempo runs based around their speed maxes and performance needs.
Rugby training followed the running session, it's been placed this way to put the players in a higher level of fatigue when practicing skills. A lot of teams won't do any kind of rugby training this early in pre-season but Quins like to as handling and fast play are two of the biggest facets to their performance.

The next part of the day was Yoga. Group one did "Hot Yoga" - this is done by using a "HotPod" which raises the temperature to 40degrees C, and the players then practice yoga within this environment helping to ease any tension on the muscles and also raise a high temperature meaning they sweat a lot.
Group two did "Power Yoga" - this is based more around calisthenic bodyweight movements and seems like a lot more of a standard yoga session.

So that is basically a quick summary of the first two days of their training, and my internship so far. It has been incredibly hectic, and very eye-opening, but I am definitely loving every minute of it. The lads seem to be opening up to us quite well which is good, but there are still plenty more to come back.

Til next time

Sunday, 22 June 2014

First Day - 20.06.2014

Friday 20th June 2014.
My first day as an intern at Harlequins.

First things first, apparently we're not allowed to call it an "Internship" as I don't receive any money for doing it, but it's better than calling it "Volunteering" and we get plenty of other perks that work out just as good so I'm going to carry on calling it an Internship anyway.

So today we had a bit of orientation day. Two other interns and myself met the rest of the S&C Coaching team in Starbucks and did the standard meet and greet - Shake hands, state your name, hear their name, move on to the next.
John - Head of Physical Performance - then continued by saying some of the things that we would be doing that day, and also some of the things that we should expect to be doing over the next year. Some of it is going to be brilliant, some of it I imagine will become a bit tedious but it's one of those things.

Henry, Richie and I (the three interns) were then set our first task of clearing all the S&C related equipment from the pitch side container and loading it into the van. For once I was dressed appropriately in shorts, t-shirt and trainers whereas the others were in jeans.
After this, we had the important task of laminating a load of paperwork for the players' individual gym folders. It gave us a brief look into the first week or so of gym programming for those players coming back on the 23rd.
We then went across and got some coffee as a group, had a bit of a chat, and then came back to have a team meeting in the board room. This meeting again set about explaining to us what our day-to-day is going to involve, and how best to go about getting things done as a group.
After this, we unloaded the van into a container up the top closer to the gym, and also closer to the outdoor sprint track. Some of the equipment was moved up to the gym in Surrey Sports Park (SSP from now on) including three brand new Texas Power Bars. Looking forward to getting some training in on them.

The next thing we did was pretty damn gruesome. We all (minus Bish and Henry) took part in a Prowler conditioning challenge. With 80kg on the prowler, push it approximately 25-30 meters and hand off to the next in your team. We did it in teams of 4. Each person had to do 8 runs.
It was horrible. The first few it wasn't so bad, then by number 5 the Lactic buildup was absolutely ridiculous! BUT I finished it so I'm happy with that. Didn't want to bail out on something on my first day.

We finished off the day in a pretty good way - we got given all our Stash. There is tons of it! It's literally like Christmas come early, and we're still waiting for some more! Including boots & trainers - all free of charge. Definitely a perk of the job. We also got given some smoothie packs which are pretty decent.

Finally - we all went to Nando's in Guildford as a group and fed on some chicken. Pretty sure each of us had a whole chicken each. They did not die in vain. We were hungry it has to be said.

So now I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning when we start the pre-season properly and I can't wait to get this thing going.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Taster days

The last two days I've spent my time with the Quins squad, and the S&C Team including the current interns, seeing exactly what I'll be doing day-to-day when I start there in June. Simply put - I can't wait to start! I mean I was absolutely shattered at the end of each day, but it was so rewarding! I get tired at the end of my shifts at my current job, but that's because of 12 hours of work. Whereas here I did 7:30 til 15:00 roughly both days, and I was absolutely dead to the world by the time I hit the sofa at my parents house - but it's because I was mentally tired from trying to take it all in.
Here are some of the things I got to witness/partake in:
Gym sessions - "Regen" (lighter weight session for players recovering from the game), upper body main lifts, lower body main lifts.
Speed sessions - indoor work with speed ladders, mini hurdles etc working on stride length and foot contact speed. Then also some timings of backs and forwards doing 10m, 15m, and 20m. Some pretty quick boys its fair to say.
Therapy sessions - using foam rollers, lacrosse balls, double up lacrosse balls for T-spine, resistance bands etc all to work out any tight spots from the weekends games. Lots of lads focusing a lot on the hip flexors, psoas, piriformis, glutes and hamstrings. seems to be a common area for the squad.
Rugby - on the monday the only boys training were academy players really, or boys who hadn't played the weekend prior. They still got GPS'd up and some of them got to wear the Adidas stuff that they are trialling. It's pretty cool kit - Adidas have created a baselayer vest which has in-built heart rate and GPS trackers, which all then get linked up to a small little console you slot in the back of the vest. This all gets fed back Live to iPads on the sideline, or anyone logged in to the Adidas account online. so it can all be viewed and managed accurately. After the session has finished it all gets downloaded and the data entered onto the system. A hell of a lot faster than the StatSports they currently use. However I think the Adidas one still had some issues they weren't happy with so they haven't confirmed if it will be Adidas, StatSport or Catapult for next season.
The tuesday session was different as it involved around 35 guys. They had two whole teams training. Started off with individual unit drills, then progressed into basically a full team run working on defensive and attacking structure. A couple of the injured guys were on the sideline using a Watt-Bike for some conditioning.
This session was interesting too as it was an "open session". there were a large number of kids who had come down to view the session, along with two of my old coaches from Worthing Raiders Ben Coulson and Dean Dewey. But the main name to mention is definitely Andy Farrell. He came down to watch the session, and was then in Starbucks after sitting down with Danny Care and Mike Brown. Obviously keeping an eye on two of the best players from the Six Nations for England this year prior to their tour to New Zealand this summer.

One other thing worth mentioning is definitely the Food! Oh my god! If I get food like that 2-3 times a day when I'm there I definitely will not be complaining! mondays breakfast was steak, poached eggs, smoked salmon, a salad with chicken bacon and avocado, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes. So good. Tuesday I got to have omelette, gammon steaks, avocado and smoked salmon salad, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms etc. And then there is always fruit, toast, bagels - all with a choice of toppings like peanut butter, marmalade, jams, butter etc. Going to be living like a king. For one of the lunches there was a choice of spaghetti bolognese, or salmon with baked sweet potato, broccoli, green beans and salad. So good!

I got sized up for all my new Stash too. Adidas next season so I'll be getting training wear as well as potentially some trainers and maybe even some boots. not bad at all. One of the perks for sure.

So that's about it - I got to spend two whole days with the squad doing what I'll be doing next year. And it's just made me want it even more. I've said to myself, and to my parents, that I want to make every day count. Even when it becomes a grind when I'm broke, tired and wondering why - I want to say to myself to take it all in, be the best I can be, and make the most of it to give myself the best opportunity to come out of it with a job either with Quins or another team in the UK.
Highlights of the week - the food! and spotting Chris Robshaw (England captain) on bench press. Tidy that!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Big News!

Ok ... So 3 years after my first interview for an Internship in Strength and Conditioning I've finally secured one! And it's with the team who denied me first time around.

In June 2014 I will be starting a new journey, and it will be as a Strength and Conditioning Intern for Harlequins RFC. I will be based out of Surrey Sports Park, and will be assisting the S&C Team in the daily goings on.
Duties include:
Setting up protein shakes for the players
Setting up and clearing up the gym from weights sessions
Assisting with weights sessions
Assisting with program design for weights, fitness, speed and recovery
Assisting with daily physical activities (swimming pool, speed sessions, fitness sessions, rugby training)
Basically being a run-around for all the coaches and players.

I genuinely cannot wait for this to start. I will be moving away from Worcester, and moving to Guildford.

Finally - the first significant step on my journey as a strength and conditioning coach.

Bring it on!